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Old 01-16-2013, 05:27 PM   #31
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Hey Ben,

A few things:

1) First, love your accent!

2) Second. Flexibility is definitely an issue for you, particularly ankle flexibility. The reason you can't sit down any more into it at the bottom is because your thighs have nowhere to go, the stiffness of the ankles stop the knees from tracking forward any more and that prevents you from sitting down deeper.

If you notice after that, you go up on your toes and you sit down just fine with your upper legs parallel. That is the effect of a slightly raised ankle for you, or more ankle flexibility.

So first solution is to really work on ankle flexibility but also to consider squatting in a heeled shoe.

3) Third. Knees need to be pushed out more. You have relatively long femurs, upperlegs. So to allow your torso to come down properly you need to push them out of the way. Just pushing them forward isn't enough, they need to be pushed out to allow your torso to slot down.

So those two things, increased ankle flexiblity or a heeled shoe and knees out should allow your torso to sit nicely in between your legs and make the squat deeper and generally more stable.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
I have not read through this entire thread, so I have no helpful comments only an observation. This morning I gave Sumo deads a try during my warmup lifts. I guess I have been doing them conventional so long that it felt very awkward and uncomfortable. may just be me.
Yes they are VERY awkward if you are a conventional DLfter...I hate them! I have try them and for a while i did incorporate them on a training cycle and that was it....never again...that was also the only time I left some skin on a bar
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:27 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
Hey Ben,

A few things:

1) First, love your accent!

2) Second. Flexibility is definitely an issue for you, particularly ankle flexibility. The reason you can't sit down any more into it at the bottom is because your thighs have nowhere to go, the stiffness of the ankles stop the knees from tracking forward any more and that prevents you from sitting down deeper.

If you notice after that, you go up on your toes and you sit down just fine with your upper legs parallel. That is the effect of a slightly raised ankle for you, or more ankle flexibility.

So first solution is to really work on ankle flexibility but also to consider squatting in a heeled shoe.

3) Third. Knees need to be pushed out more. You have relatively long femurs, upperlegs. So to allow your torso to come down properly you need to push them out of the way. Just pushing them forward isn't enough, they need to be pushed out to allow your torso to slot down.

So those two things, increased ankle flexiblity or a heeled shoe and knees out should allow your torso to sit nicely in between your legs and make the squat deeper and generally more stable.

Good luck.
Many thanks!! My boots (which I weren't wearing in video) have about 1/4 inch heel. When I get another pair I will take that into consideration. Thanks again Fazc!
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:08 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
Hey Ben,

A few things:

1) First, love your accent!

2) Second. Flexibility is definitely an issue for you, particularly ankle flexibility. The reason you can't sit down any more into it at the bottom is because your thighs have nowhere to go, the stiffness of the ankles stop the knees from tracking forward any more and that prevents you from sitting down deeper.

If you notice after that, you go up on your toes and you sit down just fine with your upper legs parallel. That is the effect of a slightly raised ankle for you, or more ankle flexibility.

So first solution is to really work on ankle flexibility but also to consider squatting in a heeled shoe.

3) Third. Knees need to be pushed out more. You have relatively long femurs, upperlegs. So to allow your torso to come down properly you need to push them out of the way. Just pushing them forward isn't enough, they need to be pushed out to allow your torso to slot down.

So those two things, increased ankle flexiblity or a heeled shoe and knees out should allow your torso to sit nicely in between your legs and make the squat deeper and generally more stable.

Good luck.
Hey faz, I have the same issue with regard to the ankle flexibility. Do you have any recommendations on what stretches or exercises one can do to address this?
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #35
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You want to focus on stretches where you're not loading the calf muscles with work. So the common stairway stretch is something to avoid, because your calf has to do an isometric contraction just to be in the correct position. Remember you'll only actually stretch the muscles after the initial resistance has worn off.

So avoid this type of thing:



This is the type of thing you should consider doing, but stick a block under the balls of your feet to raise your toes slightly. That helps a lot.

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:17 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
You want to focus on stretches where you're not loading the calf muscles with work. So the common stairway stretch is something to avoid, because your calf has to do an isometric contraction just to be in the correct position. Remember you'll only actually stretch the muscles after the initial resistance has worn off.

So avoid this type of thing:



This is the type of thing you should consider doing, but stick a block under the balls of your feet to raise your toes slightly. That helps a lot.

Excellent. Thanks for the help. This will become a daily activity for me.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #37
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I like that heel stretch too. Also one where you stand exactly the same except instead of the back leg being stright, you bend it sort sitting down on it to drive it towards the floor while keeping the heel flat on the floor. One stretches more top of calf, the other more bottom of calf.

Diesel Crew has a video on ankle flexibility too. One thing they highlighted was a barbell stretch which I liked.

Basically, deadlift a lightish barbell to your knees (I used 135), then squat down on flat feet, shoulder width and toes turned out like a normal squat, but the bar now sits now your knees at the bottom of your quads. Then just sit there letting the weight hold you in the stretch position. It will hurt a little at first like any stretch, but gradually go away. When it's gone, your ankles are no longer the problem as they have reached the range of motion you need.

I'v done it and I think it works, my bad ankle is a bit more flexible.

Of course you have to be able to get into squat position first, so for you Elite, you might want to do this with your wider stance at first then gradually move your feet in over time.

That said, I think if you simply follow Fazc's suggestions to squat in a bigger heel (I use Olympic heels that are damn near .5 inch in the heel, and remember work boots also raise the toe, so you need a difference of toe and heel of at least 3/8" to 1/2"), and also force your knees a lot wider (aligned with toes pointing out too) so you can squat your body down in between them, you might find your ankles are more flexible than you think.

Frankly, looking at your body position squatting with your heels up, it looks damn good. I'd say you get this issue straightened out, you're going to hit some big ass squats pretty soon after.

My .02
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #38
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Awesome stuff gents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
You want to focus on stretches where you're not loading the calf muscles with work. So the common stairway stretch is something to avoid, because your calf has to do an isometric contraction just to be in the correct position. Remember you'll only actually stretch the muscles after the initial resistance has worn off.

So avoid this type of thing:



This is the type of thing you should consider doing, but stick a block under the balls of your feet to raise your toes slightly. That helps a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
I like that heel stretch too. Also one where you stand exactly the same except instead of the back leg being stright, you bend it sort sitting down on it to drive it towards the floor while keeping the heel flat on the floor. One stretches more top of calf, the other more bottom of calf.

Diesel Crew has a video on ankle flexibility too. One thing they highlighted was a barbell stretch which I liked.

Basically, deadlift a lightish barbell to your knees (I used 135), then squat down on flat feet, shoulder width and toes turned out like a normal squat, but the bar now sits now your knees at the bottom of your quads. Then just sit there letting the weight hold you in the stretch position. It will hurt a little at first like any stretch, but gradually go away. When it's gone, your ankles are no longer the problem as they have reached the range of motion you need.

I'v done it and I think it works, my bad ankle is a bit more flexible.

Of course you have to be able to get into squat position first, so for you Elite, you might want to do this with your wider stance at first then gradually move your feet in over time.

That said, I think if you simply follow Fazc's suggestions to squat in a bigger heel (I use Olympic heels that are damn near .5 inch in the heel, and remember work boots also raise the toe, so you need a difference of toe and heel of at least 3/8" to 1/2"), and also force your knees a lot wider (aligned with toes pointing out too) so you can squat your body down in between them, you might find your ankles are more flexible than you think.

Frankly, looking at your body position squatting with your heels up, it looks damn good. I'd say you get this issue straightened out, you're going to hit some big ass squats pretty soon after.

My .02
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #39
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I say wide will build close but close will not build wide nearly as well.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #40
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I say wide will build close but close will not build wide nearly as well.
There's a Louie Simmons video on that.
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